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Turini climb could play kingmaker in Paris-Nice

The 80th edition of the 'Race to the Sun' follows a familiar blueprint .

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The Col de Turini high in the Alpes-Maritimes could play kingmaker in the 80th edition of Paris-Nice.

Race officials unveiled course details Wednesday for the so-called “Race to the Sun,” set to run March 6-13 from the outskirts of Paris to Nice along France’s Côte d’Azur.

“It is only natural for a race that will stage its 80th edition in March to have finally found the right balance and Paris-Nice makes everything it can to keep it while improving it slightly every year,” a press release stated. “There will be something for every taste, even the most demanding ones, on the menu on offer between Mantes-la-Ville and the Promenade des Anglais.”

Also read: Primož Roglič spends more time in leader’s jersey than trade kit

The route follows the traditional blueprint for what’s the first major road race on the European calendar.

The opening three stages present opportunities for sprinters to snag an early-season win, with crosswinds and echelons a permanent danger as the route pushes south across the flat farmland in central France.

A stage 4 time trial on a lumpy course of 13.4km will set some GC hierarchy as the route continues south.

Stage 5 skirts the Massif Central, and stage 6 loops across Provence, and both profiles will see a chance for breakaways.

Also read: Egan Bernal proves he can win under fire

The “queen stage” on Saturday ends atop Col de Turini, a first-category summit (14.9km at 7.3 percent). It was last featured in 2019, when Dani Martínez beat Miguel Ángel López for the stage win.

Eventual winner Egan Bernal used the stage to catapult into the leader’s jersey, a win that boded well for his Tour de France victory later that season.

The race finale follows the familiar loop up and around Col d’Eze high above Nice, ending on the Promenade des Anglais.

All 18 WorldTour teams will line up to the WorldTour’s first major European stage race in 2022, along with Arkéa-Samsic, Alpecin-Fenix, which both qualify as the top-two teams in the ProTour ranking. B&B Hotels-KTM and TotalEnergies also received invites to race.

80th Paris-Nice (March 6-13)

Sunday, March 6th, stage 1: Mantes-la-Ville to Mantes-la-Ville, 159.8km

Monday, March 7th, stage 2: Auffargis to Orléans, 159.2km

Tuesday, March 8th, stage 3: Vierzon to Dun-le-Palestel, 190.8km

Wednesday, March 9th, stage 4: Domérat to Montluçon, 13.4km (time trial)

Thursday, March 10th, stage 5: Saint-Just-Saint-Rambert to Saint-Sauveur-de-Montagut, 188.8km

Friday, March 11st, stage 6: Courthézon to Aubagne, 213.6km

Saturday, March 12nd, stage 7: Nice to Col de Turini La Bollène-Vésubie, 155.4km

Sunday, March 13rd, stage 8: Nice to Nice, 115.6km